As we all know, Mr. Hitchens has been fighting cancer for most of this year, and realistically long before – he just didn’t know it yet. After months of suffering, Christopher Hitchens’ life came to a saddening end today, Thursday, December 15, 2011. Though suffering, there was never a debate to which he would not show, nor a book fair to which he would not speak.
Christopher Hitchens held dear the importance of not only skepticism, but also education, and saw books as enlightening beacons of hope. Hope not just for mankind’s future, but mankind’s present. He told us to strive to make a better world for our children – one free of despair, poverty, fanaticism, religion, superstition, war, bloodshed, and all of that which makes life so dreadful.
He encouraged us to strive daily to make this world a better place, as without an afterlife or another world to which we can all escape, this is the only place we have.
Christopher Hitchens’ tongue was not only scathing to history’s villains, but also to many of those who were considered heroes. While Christopher was highly critical of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, he was twice as poison-tongued toward the presidency of Ronald Reagan. He knew, with his skeptical mind, that there is either darkness or all out idiocy of both sides of any argument, and in his decades of journalism, he took great pleasure in pointing said corruption and/or idiocy out.
Nobody was safe from the scathing barbs of Hitchens. Not the Pope, or Mother Teresa, or George Bush, Tony Blair, the Queen Mom, or any political hedge person. And indeed, without malice, Christopher Hitchens pointed out the flaws in everyone heralded as a hero in order to get people thinking, to force people to be individuals, and to demand skepticism in everyone.
Some found him wordy, others found him mean and brutal, but in this community, we knew him only as The Hitch, and we love(d) him dearly. And with every religious fanatical who comes forth to inform us that, “This is what happens when you snare in the face of our loving God,” I wait with grinning impatience to the time when they die and are Hitch-slapped by the same mortality as the rest of us.
Mr. Hitchens will always be remembered. Rest in eternal and unconscious peace, Christopher. If only the trees and the grass that is formed from your atoms only knew just how special those atoms were at one time.
Christopher Hitchens: April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011